Abstract

Depths calculated from S-wave stacking velocities and event times almost always exceed actual depths, sometimes by as much as 25 percent. In contrast, depths from corresponding P-wave information are often within 10 percent of actual depths. Discrepancies in depths calculated from P- and S-wave data are attributed to velocity anisotropy, a property of sedimentary rocks that noticeably affects S-wave moveout curves but leaves the P-wave relatively unaffected. Two careful studies show that discrepancies in depths, and hence in constituent layer thicknesses, correlate with lithology. Discrepancies ranged from an average of 13 percent (Midland basin) to greater than 40 percent (Paloma field) in shales, but were within expected errors in massive sandstones or carbonates. Hence anisotropy effects are indicators of lithology.Analysis of seismic data involved determining interval velocities from stacking velocities, calculating layer thicknesses, and then comparing layer thicknesses from S-wave data with thicknesses from P-wave data. When the S-wave thicknesses were significantly greater than the P-wave (i.e., outside the range of expected errors), I concluded the layer was anisotropic. I illustrate the technique with data from the Paloma field project of the Conoco Shear Wave Group Shoot.

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